Join Me On This Run: Sussex County, NJ – Movement Labs

Join Me On This Run: Sussex County, NJ

It’s no secret that I love to run.

I love running in Rochester…my running family is there, and the city has some incredible parks to explore.
I love running in Los Angeles…the sun is always shining, and there’s an odd beauty to the dusty, dry mountains out there.
I love running in Singapore…gear requirements are minimal and the same all year, the rain is NEVER cold, and I know that running in the humidity makes me stronger.

But my favorite place to run is…New Jersey.  Sussex County, to be specific.  This is where I grew up, and where my parents still live.  Any season, any time – it’s impossible for me to run here without a smile on my face.  While I’d love for you all to come visit me, so I could take you on a running (or walking!) tour, I know that’s impossible.  So instead, I’m bringing the run to you!

[Note: I got my first Smartphone after moving to Singapore.  A year later, and I finally realize: DANG those things are pesky in the cold weather!  I had to pull my gloves off every time I wanted to take a picture!]

I figured that 6-8 miles would be a good distance.  So we headed down the driveway:

Ready to rock & roll.  See that enormous pine tree behind me?  Trees just aren't that big in Singapore.

See that enormous pine tree behind me? Trees just aren’t that big in Singapore.

I decided to take a picture at every mile.  In retrospect, I should have run this route backwards, to save the best photo for last, rather than for Mile 1:

Culver Lake.  I think there's a #lakelove Twitter hashtag floating around somewhere for pics like this....

Culver Lake. I think there’s a #lakelove Twitter hashtag floating around somewhere for pics like this….

This photo was taken just after 1 PM.  There were some dark clouds around, but the afternoon didn’t feel quite as dark as this photo looks.  Mile 2 shows the lighting a bit more accurately:

A bit brighter.  And look - telephone poles!!!!  [All cables are run underground in Singapore.  It's easy to get used to NOT seeing this cluttering the roadside.]

A bit brighter. And look – telephone poles!!!! [All cables are run underground in Singapore. It’s easy to get used to NOT seeing this cluttering the roadside.]

I was running next to the highway at Mile 3, so I didn’t stop for a picture.  But here’s a picture from Miles 4 & 5 (a one mile out-and-back):

Not quite the angle I wanted...but I didn't feel comfortable asking someone if I could climb on their roof for a better shot. :)

Not quite the angle I wanted…but I didn’t feel comfortable asking someone if I could climb on their roof for a better shot. 🙂

Look what coincided with Mile 6!

Nature is powerful...

Nature is powerful…

At Mile 7, I was surrounded by naked trees on both sides, so I snapped a picture of the road I was running along, to show you how empty it is.  This wasn’t a coincidental shot – except for the short highway stretch, this is what all the roads I ran along looked like:

Rolling rural roadway....

Rolling rural roadway….

Up some hills, and half a mile later, we were done.  Good thing, too – because the cold weather and a lack of stretching (bad Coach Holly!) tightened up my IT band.  Gotta take care of that right away!!

Thanks for joining me!

Thanks for joining me!

Thanks for joining me!

Thanks for joining me!

Anyone else enjoy a nostalgic and awesome run thanks to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday?

How are you returning to your workout routine, on this (for some, post-holiday) Monday?

Do you enjoy this kind of “Join Me On This Run” posts, or think they are boring?

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  1. misszippy December 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    Looks like a great route–the lake is beautiful. I love running in different locales. When I visit my parents in Ohio I always hit their metro parks trails and always enjoy it. Glad you are spending some time stateside and with family!

    • Holly @ Run With Holly December 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      I enjoy running to explore new places, but I also love running somewhere that provides a “change of scenery”, but without requiring me to invent or test routes. This is perfect – I didn’t grow up running, but I know all the roads and distances…so I can easily choose a route of any length, then disconnect my brain and let my legs do the work!

  2. Sophie @ life's philosophie December 3, 2013 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Looks like a great run! I love running in isolated areas (assuming it’s safe…). The silence is SO nice, especially when you live in a city and are used to hearing noise everywhere!

    • Holly @ Run With Holly December 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm - Reply

      SO TRUE. I love falling asleep at my parent’s house as well…so quiet and peaceful – and I can see SO MANY STARS out the window of “my” bedroom!

  3. Karen@ La Chanson de Ma Vie December 3, 2013 at 1:02 am - Reply

    The lake shot is pretty!

    This is how I feel about running near my parents’ house. Quiet country roads and memories make the best runs.

    • Holly @ Run With Holly December 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm - Reply


      And there aren’t ANY quiet roads (or trails!) in Singapore, so I’m soaking in every minute of it!

  4. Char December 3, 2013 at 2:59 am - Reply

    I understand why that run makes you happy. So pretty! It’s nice to run routes that you haven’t run in a while – reminiscing on the run can take you to a whole different time.

    • Holly @ Run With Holly December 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm - Reply

      And there’s a LOT of history for me (not running, just “living”) along these routes. When we were back at my parent’s earlier this year, my husband joined me for about 10 miles of my long run…and I talked his ear off the whole time – about the terrain, where a friend had a car accident, where my car broke down, where it’s really slippery in the winter, where the track team practiced, blah, blah, blah….. [Good thing he’s a listener! 🙂 ]

  5. Meagan December 3, 2013 at 6:57 am - Reply

    Those roads look a lot like the ones I run on, except mine don’t have that shoulder 🙂 What I would give to have that lovely shoulder!! I was home and hosting for Thanksgiving, but will travel to my dad’s house for Christmas (not actually on Christmas because Barry has to milk the cows, but in the days following). It’s interesting running there. It’s nostalgic because I grew up there, but I didn’t run while growing up. However, they are all the roads and areas I rode my bike on, played with friends on, etc. so it’s still a nostalgic experience.

    I liked this ‘Join Me On This Run’ post!

    • Holly @ Run With Holly December 3, 2013 at 12:42 pm - Reply

      Believe it or not, I actually thought of you while I was uploading the road photo. Because a lot of the photos you post remind me of Sussex County! 🙂 And I didn’t grow up running, either – so these places are nostalgic for me for the same reasons that yours are for you!

  6. Grace December 3, 2013 at 8:37 am - Reply

    That looks gorgeous! But I’m a city girl – running on the road shoulder at all makes me nervous. (Yes, even in New Hampshire I would stick to either trails, or places with sidewalk.)

    • Holly @ Run With Holly December 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm - Reply

      But there aren’t many cars! And you can hear them coming from a long way off!

      [I have a friend who lived in the city and HATED driving up where my parents live.

      Him: “But there are highways where the speed limit is, like 55!”
      Me: “Uhh…yeah. They have those by you. And in some places by you, the limit is 65!”
      Him: “But there’s a MEDIAN.”]

  7. Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama December 3, 2013 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Wow, that first picture is beautiful! My husband and I took advantage of free babysitting services (thanks Grandma & Grandpa) and enjoyed two wonderful trail runs together over Thanksgiving. It was great to get out on the trails together!

  8. Amy December 3, 2013 at 10:20 am - Reply

    I always run when I am home in PA and I love it. I miss the parks where I always ran in NJ, too. But I guess I can’t complain too much…

  9. Jess December 3, 2013 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Beautiful! It looks almost haunting there! Must be such a cool experience having run around the world in different places!

    • Holly @ Run With Holly December 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm - Reply

      My husband and I did a lot of traveling about 2 years ago. I had this grand idea to put all of my Garmin data on one world map to see all the places we’ve run. But unfortunately, that never happened. The data may still be in my Garmin account, although I think some of it got lost in the shuffle (or in one of our frantic attempts to record splits on a watch that was threatening “MEMORY FULL! DELETE OLD WORKOUTS!”)…

  10. Debbie @ Deb Runs December 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    I always enjoy running on the country roads when I’m visiting the farm where I grew up. We stayed home this year so I enjoyed having you take me with you on your run. 🙂 The first picture of the lake is gorgeous! So glad you are enjoying your trip to visit your parents!

    • Holly @ Run With Holly December 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      I thought of you while I was writing this, also – and the sweet/sad post you wrote about running early in the morning, near YOUR parent’s house, shortly after your Dad’s death. I remember you recounting some of the nostalgic parts of that experience, and how that run wove into your grieving/healing process.

      Of course, the circumstances of my run were far more mundane, but I did find myself thinking about all the history I have in many of these places, and how – no matter how far away I live – that will always be a part of me.

  11. Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead December 5, 2013 at 11:59 am - Reply

    I love this kind of post! I think it’s fun to live vicariously through someone else’s runs. 🙂 Looks like your parents live in a gorgeous spot.

    • Holly @ Run With Holly December 6, 2013 at 2:47 am - Reply

      Oh, do they ever! It would’ve been even more beautiful about 6 weeks ago, when the leaves were changing – but whatever, this will do. 🙂

      I always think people enjoy run posts in really famous places – big cities, famous parks, etc. – but am never quite sure they are as interesting when they are just Small Town, USA. Seems the Small Town posts do have a following, though. Will probably be sharing more in the future….although I’m heading back to Singapore soon, and that’s anything but small town!! =)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting – heading over to check out your blog now! 🙂

  12. Alyssa December 10, 2013 at 12:45 am - Reply

    I need to hear more about these parks in Rochester! I didn’t get really into running into college, and didn’t get into racing until I moved to MD, so I’m clueless about the Rochester running scene. That first pic is gorgeous!

    • Holly @ Run With Holly December 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      A few hints for the next time you’re in Rochester:

      1. Google Fleet Feet Sports. If they have a group run (Tues & Fri evenings, Sat AM) while you’re there, JOIN THEM. If they’re sponsoring a race (Yellowjacket Racing), EVEN BETTER. Drop my name to anyone with history there, and you’ll get a hug (or not, if you aren’t into hugs). Those folks were my very first running family.

      2. Parks: Mendon Ponds Park or Durand Eastman Park. For a small, very manageable park with a great big hill, try Cobbs Hill Park. For lots of easy, flat, mindless running, get on the Canal path in Pittsford. You can go for miles. (Better to do in daylight.)

      3. Message me before you go, and I’ll try to hook you up with a group of friends who are often out playing on the roads and trails – if you’re interested. 🙂

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